Galasso's New Paver Conquers Steep Grade on Route 318

Galasso Materials LLC is located in East Granby, CT, halfway between Hartford and Springfield, MA, and within five minutes of Bradley International Airport servicing most of Connecticut and Western Massachusetts.

In March 1997, the Galasso family, which operates Cobleskill Stone Products in Cobleskill, NY, purchased the existing stone quarry, asphalt plants and paving equipment from Oldcastle that had been part of the original 55-year-old Roncari Industries Inc.

“We produce and sell aggregates in sizes from stone dust to rip rap, asphalt, process gravel and rap,” says Jan Elovirta, equipment division manager with Galasso Materials. “Our customer base ranges from the homeowner to the state of Connecticut.”

Galasso also features its own paving division. “Our paving division will operate three to four paving crews, two to three grade crews and one curb crew on a daily schedule,” says Elovirta. “Our work covers north central Connecticut to just over the Massachusetts border. We are one of the major paving contractors for the state and local municipalities and work in team with all the general contractors to do the fine grading and paving for them.”

Making the grade

Recently, Galasso used its latest addition to their equipment fleet, a BOMAG CR552 paver, on a state paving project on Route 318 in Barkhamsted, CT. The project was a two-lane road winding through a watershed area with several steep grades.

The road was milled and resurfaced using 3,760 tons of state of Connecticut approved Superpave mix with ½” stone. The paver was supplied with material using a material transfer machine as required by state spec.

“The paver put down a good mat and had plenty of power to pull the steep grade while the transfer machine kept the paver insert box full of material,” says Elovirta. “The unit was successful even when it stopped on the steep grade and then had to start moving again.”

Galasso has a long history with the Cedarapids brand. The company’s first experience with a Cedarapids paver was with a new Grayhound model CR551 that was purchased in 1988. Galasso then purchased a second in 1990.

“Those early models proved to be real workhorses, and the crews would always ask for them over the other brand paver we had,” says Elovirta.

In the late 90s, Galasso Materials,LLC started to update its equipment and it purchased two more CR551s and one CR351. When Galasso decided it was going to replace two pavers in 2005, the company had the opportunity to demo several competitive pavers.

“Although they all had various advantages, our crews told us that none of them outperformed the Cedarapid units,” says Elovirta. “So in 2005, we added two CR552s to our paver fleet. Then again in 2012, when the business in our area started to rebound, we felt it was necessary to rent a paver for the season. We rented Brand X paver, and again the crews told us that it didn’t perform as well as the Cedarapids paver.

“Now in 2013, with the scheduled work on the books we had to update our paver fleet,” he continues. “We went with the paver that performs the best for us and just took delivery of the first of two new BOMAG Cedarapid pavers.”

The Cedarapids brand is a recent acquisition for BOMAG. In February, BOMAG entered into an agreement to acquire certain Terex product lines in North America and Roadbuilding operations of Latin America. The Cedarapids and CMI products (asphalt pavers, reclaimer/stabilizer and material transfer vehicles/devices) were brought into the BOMAG family at that time, with BOMAG debuting the new yellow machines at the 2013 World of Asphalt in San Antonio.

Highlighted features

The CR552 rubber-tire asphalt paver features manual and hydraulic power mat depth control, three-point suspension system for smooth mats, a maximum paving width of 30 feet and a maximum paving depth of 12 inches.

Elovirta says there are some other features he and the paving crews have come to appreciate. “The paver has a frame lift, which makes loading the unit on and off the trailer easier with no damage done to augers hitting the ground or trailer ramps,” he says. “And while paving and putting binder down, it’s easy to clear raised structures. It also helps from bottoming out in soft ground.”

The CR552 offers a 14-ton hopper capacity. “The larger hopper capacity allows us to get more material down in tight areas before they have to dump more material in the hopper,” says Elovirta. “We also like the Stretch 20 screed that pulls a full 20-foot-wide mat. This allows us to pave some of the narrow town roads in one pass without adding extensions.”

As Galasso’s crews discovered on the Route 318 project, the CR552 has great traction. “We’ve found that with the larger drive tires, front wheel assist, steer assist, differential lock and frame lift, this paver is unstoppable when it comes to traction,” says Elovirta.